Burberry blasted for showing off hoodie with noose around the neck
Burberry is facing mounting scrutiny for taking a fashion risk that even it admits went too far.
The luxury fashion brand has apologized for sending a hoodie that featured a noose around the neck down its Fall 2019 runway at London Fashion Week on Sunday.
The problematic item incorporated a noose tied together from the drawstrings of what would’ve been an otherwise unoffensive hoodie.
Social media backlash began when model Liz Kennedy, who walked in the show but did not wear the controversial sweatshirt, took to Instagram to blast the fashion house for ignoring her repeated complaints about the item in fittings and backstage.
Kennedy wrote in the now-viral post that at one point backstage, some workers: “briefly hung one [of the nooses] from the ceiling (trying to figure out the knot) and were laughing about it in the dressing room.”
She goes on: “I had asked to speak to someone about it but the only thing I was told to do was to write a letter. I had a brief conversation with someone but all that it entailed was ‘it’s fashion. Nobody cares about what’s going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself.’”
The runway model also shared that she was extremely triggered after seeing the item for the first time at her initial fitting, adding that it brought her back to an experience with suicide in her family.
Kennedy decided to take her experience to social media when Burberry staff and others refused to act on her complaints or listen to her concerns. She also shared a screenshot in her post from Burberry Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci’s Instagram.
Tisci’s post, which has since been deleted, included a picture of the noose hoodie in a compilation of photos promoting the collection.
In response to the controversy, Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti said in a statement to The Post: “We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection Tempest. I called Ms. Kennedy to apologise as soon as I became aware of this on Monday and we immediately removed the product and all images that featured it.”
Gobbetti went on to say that, “Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake. The experience Ms. Kennedy describes does not reflect who we are and our values. We will reflect on this, learn from it and put in place all necessary actions to ensure it does not happen again.”
However, Gobbetti’s claim that the show followed a “marine theme” does not match how the collection was described in a Burberry press release on its newest line.
The release says Tisci was inspired by “the contrasts in British culture and weather, from the structured to the rebellious,” adding that the show “explored the idea of contrast and perspective, the same collection presented in two very bespoke environments.”
Tisci’s Fall 2019 collection for Burberry is called “Tempest” and is his second for the luxury fashion house.
Tisci, also in a statement, told The Post, “I am so deeply sorry for the distress that has been caused as a result of one of the pieces in my show on Sunday. While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realise that it was insensitive. It was never my intention to upset anyone. It does not reflect my values nor Burberry’s and we have removed it from the collection.”
He ended by saying, “I will make sure that this does not happen again.”
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal you can get help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text HOME to 741741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.
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